Nerve Entrapment

Nerve entrapment is a condition where a nerve is compressed for long periods of time. When any nerve is compressed in the body, it reacts by causing symptoms such as pain, weakness, tingling, pins and needles sensations, and/or hot and cold sensations. The longer a nerve is compressed or entrapped by other tissues, the longer it takes to recover. However, there is a point of no return. A nerve that is entrapped for too long will eventually lose all function. Nerve entrapment may occur in the foot. For example, the peroneal nerve of the leg may be entrapped at the head of the fibula in the area of the knee but because the nerve supplies sensation and strength to the muscles of the lower leg, and foot. This results in symptoms such as pain and hot sensations on the top part of the foot. It also makes it difficult to lift the foot. Nerve entrapment may occur with any nerve of the foot, ankle, leg – or any other part of the body. Cause Nerve entrapment may be caused by several things: • Traumatic crushing injury or wound • Pressure from swelling in another part of the body near the affected nerve • Arthritic calcifications on nearby bones • Tumor or growth that presses on the nerve • Compression by tight shoes Treatment and Prevention In severe cases, nerve entrapment should be relieved by surgery. This must be done before the nerve is thoroughly damaged so that it may have a chance to recover. In less severe cases, pressure from swelling may be relieved by ice packs that decrease the local areas of swelling. If arthritis or tumor growth is causing the compression, a consultation with a medical doctor or podiatrist is essential to facilitate the best recovery strategy. If nerve entrapment is caused by tight shoes, then the shoes causing the damage must be replaced by others that have lower heels, have a wider toe box and have a high toe box. ¾ orthotic inserts and arches may be helpful. Also special pads may be worn to decrease compression of the foot in shoes as well.